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Grandfather Mountain Hosts 9th Annual Kidfest Sept. 8

Aug. 9, 2012. On Saturday, Sept. 8, Grandfather Mountain will offer a fun-filled opportunity for families to enjoy the nature and culture of the North Carolina mountains. Kidfest provides children of all ages with entertaining activities such as guided hikes, storytelling, face painting, crafts and games.

The day kicks off at 9 a.m. with a guided hike at the Woods Walk. This short loop hike will be guided by one of Grandfather Mountain’s staff naturalists. Guests will have the opportunity to discover unique plants, while naturalists point out where animals may make their homes.

At 10:30 a.m. is the “Wonders of Bees” program. This activity introduces children to the importance of pollinators through games, crafts, songs and exploration. The group will read “Bee & Me” by Elle J. McGuinness and discuss why bees are so important. The children will dance and sing to the “Bee Waggle Dance” to better understand the complex lives and roles bees have inside their hives.

The next program, Birds of the Blue Ridge, is at 11 a.m. This is a live bird demonstration with birds from the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute at Lees-McRae College. At this program, guests will be able to get up close to hawks and owls, learn about their importance to our ecosystem and what we can do to help protect them.

Also beginning at 11 a.m. is a presentation on clouds and weather. Here, kids will learn about cloud types and how they affect the weather before making their own cloud viewers. They will then use their creations to observe different types of clouds and discuss how understanding cloud types can give us a clue to what our weather may be in the future.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., kids can head to the Grandfather Mountain Fudge Shop to make their own treats and get their faces painted.

Afternoon programs begin at 12 p.m. with “Scales, Skins and Skulls!” The Naturalists will set up a table with animal skins, skulls and some live animals as well and be there to discuss the animals in our forest.

Kids can then head to the “Let it Rain” Picnic Shelter to make their own animal enrichment at 1 p.m. At this activity, kids will help habitats staff make enrichments, which are special treats for the animals in the Environmental Habitats. After everyone finishes the enrichments, the group will head down to the animal habitats where kids can watch the animals enjoy the enrichments they’ve made.

Also beginning at 1 p.m. is a story-telling session with Glenn Bolick. Bolick is a locally renowned storyteller, potter, singer, musician and songwriter. He will be telling stories and presenting old-time toys in the Nature Museum Auditorium.

Wrapping up the day’s activities is the “Flight, Feathers and Fun” program at 3:30 p.m. This hands-on activity teaches kids about the adaptations different birds have to eat food, find a mate and live in our world. Kids will also play “Migration Headache” after the activity, a fun game that shows what birds may encounter while migrating.

The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established to preserve Grandfather Mountain, operate the nature park sustainably in the public interest, provide an exceptional experience for guests, and inspire them to be good stewards of the earth’s resources. For more information, visit www.grandfather.com or call 800-468-7325.